Grace and peace to you as we begin a new month in the life of the church!
As I write this on Tuesday, our nation anxiously awaits the results of Election Day. We may not know tonight or tomorrow who has won the election, and many are fearful of continued unrest and anxiety throughout the country. Whatever your political persuasion, I know that you join me in praying for peace and stability at this time. Our synod is continuing its daily devotionals that were offered for 10 days leading up to the election. For the 10 days following the election, you can find these devotions and prayers on the synod Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/metrodcelca.
As the season changes outside, as fall eventually eases into winter, so too the seasons in the church year will be changing soon. We have only a few Sundays left of this season after Pentecost as we approach the end of the church year on Christ the King Sunday, and begin the season of Advent and a new church year. The first Sunday Advent will be November 29th. In the meantime, we will continue in ordinary time as we conclude the church year, and our reading of Matthew as the assigned gospel in our three-year lectionary cycle. We will contemplate several parables of Jesus that describe the kingdom of God and how we, as disciples of Christ, are to live in the “already, but not yet” realization of Christ’s fulfillment of God’s promise. I invite you to consider what it means to be a disciple, knowing the saving power of Christ’s work and word, while also living in a broken and imperfect world. What do Jesus’ words mean to you at this time?
Advent is a time of awaiting – awaiting not just the birth of the Savior, but also the return of Christ in glory in the fulfillment of time. In our current COVID times, awaiting these interventions of God into human history takes on new meaning. We have been in a waiting pattern for months now, waiting for life to return to some sort of normalcy. Everything has been disrupted as we wait for the numbers to go down, for a vaccine, for the situation to change in some way so we can make plans for the future. If there is anything clear about our present situation, it is that little of it is within our individual, direct control – we must work together to use the resources with which we have been blessed to effect the change needed. It is also a good reminder that in the great cosmic order of things, God is ultimately in control! And as Christian people, we put our hope in what has been promised and revealed in the ministry, death and resurrection of Christ. We can know that God is with us in this time, and will carry us through. As we journey toward Advent in these shorter and shorter days, let us pray together for God to guide us through the darkness toward His light.
By the time that Advent begins, Good Samaritan will also be considering the beginning of a new season in its own life as you contemplate welcoming new pastoral leadership that will carry you into the future.